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Marsha’s Texas Style Chili

9 Feb



1 pound cubed extra lean stew beef

1/2 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic (I use the minced garlic in the jar)

1 10.5 oz can condensed beef broth plus 1 can water

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp oregano

4 Tbsp cumin (I double checked this with Marsha–yes, she uses that much. I only had 1 Tbsp in my house, and it was still good.)

2 tsp chili

1 tsp paprika

2 bay leaves (I did not have these–left them out.)

1 can diced cooked tomatoes

1 can black beans, rinsed

Directions: Brown beef cubes on all sides (I used spray oil for this). Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Stir in everything else, EXCEPT BEANS, and simmer until beef is very tender and breaking apart–usually 1.5 hours. (I simmered for 1 1/2 hours with the lid on, and then removed the lid and simmered for another 20-30 minutes to reduce the liquid.) Rinse beans thoroughly, and then add beans to chili and simmer 20 minutes more.

This is better made a day or two ahead. 6 servings, approximately 200 calories each.


Simple Snow Peas and Shrimp

1 Jun

A simple, simply delicious dinner.  Just a few ingredients yields a bounty of taste!


1/2 pound snow peas

4 ounces pre-cooked frozen shrimp, thawed

1 tsp sesame oil

soy sauce to taste

1 tsp orange marmalade (I used a fruit spread that doesn’t have sugar, but has all natural ingredients)

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Spray a skillet with Pam and put snow peas in pan over medium high heat.  Cook to desired doneness, and then add the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.  Cook another minute or two to heat through.  Serve and enjoy!  Just right for one!

Approx. 230 calories, 33 grams protein!


Mexican Cauliflower Pork Casserole

16 May


1 head of cauliflower, grated with a mandolin (approx 8 cups?)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced small

8 ounces pre-cooked shredded pork

1 cup yogurt

3/4-1 cup salsa

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces low fat cheese, grated

Combine all ingredients except cheese and mix well.  Spread in a 9X13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Stats for 4 large servings:  300 calories, 12g fat, 17g carbs, 5g fiber, and 30g protein.



6 Mar



1 pound dry pinto beans

2 cups uncooked rice

8 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 bulb shallot, minced

6-8 scallions, sliced thin

2 tsp. crushed garlic in jar

1 Tbsp salt

pepper to taste

1 can (2 cups) chicken stock

1/2 tsp ground cloves

6 sprigs fresh parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme


Presoak beans (follow directions on bag.)  Rinse, discard water.  Replace beans in pot and cover with 3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours.  Drain, reserving liquid.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Saute peppers for 5 minutes or so, then add shallot and green onions and saute for 2-3 minutes more.  Add crushed garlic and stir to combine.  Add cooked beans back to pot, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock to pot, and 8 more cups of liquid, using reserved bean liquid and adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and ground cloves.  Stir in the uncooked rice. Place sprigs of parsley and thyme on top, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes.  Remove thyme and parsley to serve.

This is a BIG pot of beans, at least 12 servings.

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole with a Lemon Yogurt Sauce

12 Nov


8 ounces pre-cooked chicken breast

2 cups broccoli

2 servings pre-cooked brown rice (from Trader Joe’s or Costco)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup (approx.) fat free chicken stock

zest from one lemon

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil


Chop Broccoli and place in water and boil to taste (I like it soft, about 10 minutes.)  Empty hot water out of pan and cover with cold water to make broccoli easy to handle.  Put 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan and saute onion and bell pepper for five minutes or so.  Add chicken and rice and broccoli to pan and stir gently to combine.  Mix yogurt, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, and chicken stock together and add to pan.  Add lemon juice and stir thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place mixture in a baking dish sprayed with pam, and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

18 Jan


1 pound extra lean stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks (you could use london broil or top sirloin trimmed of all fat if extra lean is not available)

1 tsp olive oil

2 red potatoes (about 10-12 ounces)

1 pound baby carrots

6 brown mushrooms, sliced (again, this is all I had.  You could add more if desired)

1 onion sliced and quartered

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup red wine

salt and pepper to taste

For later:  1/2 cup flour and 1 pound of frozen petite peas

Directions:  Early in the morning (because it takes 10 hours in the crockpot!) brown the beef in the teaspoon of olive oil.  The secret is to heat the olive oil in the pan on medium high heat.  Then  add  the meat, and it will brown quickly and evenly.  Dump the meat in the crockpot. Add the mushrooms.  then layer the carrots, onions, and potatoes, adding salt and pepper after each layer.  Pour in the water and the wine.  Put lid on and put on low.  Turn off after 10 hours.

Just before serving:  Microwave the peas in the bag (that’s how most of them come evidently.  pretty convenient.)  Put the 1/2 cup of flour into a container with enough water to dissolve.  Pour the stew into a large pan on the stove, add the cooked peas, and pour the flour mixture on top.  Stir carefully, so you don’t mash all the veggies up.  Bring to a boil and cook for at least one minute.  The broth should thicken up nicely.

This made 5 large servings (about 2 cups each) at about 320 calories/serving.  The secret is to have a higher veggie to meat ratio, and of course, relatively low fat.  So you could change up the veggies and/or the spices to make it similar to your own favorite comfort food.


4 Oct

About 2 pounds zucchini, cut in strips or diced

2 oz pasta of choice, cooked according to package directions

2 1/2 ox. mozzarella cheese, shredded or cut in small slices

2 tomatoes, diced

About 6 oz. ‘baby bello’ mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s marinara sauce (60 calories per 1/2 cup)

2 tsp olive oil

Spray 8X8 pan w/Pam or other veg. spray.  Layer all ingredients twice, and put extra squash, mushrooms tomatoes and sauce on top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  4 seervings, 210 calories each.  Yummy, and you could vary this recipe quite a bit.  Add onions or other veggies.  If you need more oil in your diet, add 4 tsps instead of 2, and this will increase the calories to  230 per serving.  If cheese or pasta is your thing, add more and adjust the calories.

Ready to pop into the oven: